6 Top Tips for the Perfect Self Tape or Scene
There’s so much confusing and contradictory information out there on how to record the perfect self tape or scene. So we thought we’d summarise our tips into 6, easy-to-follow ways to make the perfect self tape or scene for Flairbox. We’ve also summarised 3 key things to avoid.
First, let’s go over self tapes;
For Self Tapes
1. Lighting - Having spoken to lots of different casting directors, one simple way to improve your video is lighting. The key here is to make sure your eyes are clearly visible. Not only does this allow the casting director to see exactly what you are feeling, but it also stops the age-old actors curse of ‘doing too much’. You won’t need to ‘show’ what your character is feeling, you can simply be them and let the casting director see it in your eyes. Natural light from a window is the easiest way to do it, if not, try a simple LED light like Neewer CN160 with a softbox which you can pick up for £30 online. Soft lights are always better as they reduce shadow, which is a distraction to your wonderful tape!
2. Background - Nothing distracting. Neutral colours, ideally white or grey. If you don’t have a neutral coloured wall, get yourself a sheet of paper or curtain (you can even use a bedsheet - just try to avoid crinkles) that you can hang on the wall behind you.
3. Length of Video - 2 MINUTES is the ideal length for Casting Directors. This gives them enough time to see if they like your tape. Casting Directors are busy people and as much as they’d love to, they don’t have time to watch a long tape from every single actor they see. The maximum length you can upload on Flairbox is 3 minutes.
4. Camera (or phone) & Sound - First of all ALWAYS FILM IN LANDSCAPE. The latest smartphones all have incredible cameras that do the job just fine. If you do want to get a digital camera, you can get a great one for £150 - £250. Yes, you can spend more to get higher spec cameras, but you definitely don’t need one for a good tape.
In an ideal world, get yourself a mic to make the sound crystal clear. However, if you stay nice and close to the camera or phone (which we would recommend to keep all of the details of your character clearly visible), with any modern smart-phone or digital camera, the sound will be just fine!
5. Tripod - Even if it’s just a tiny, mobile tripod that you pop on top of a table or stack of books, they cost less than £10 and you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage without one. You don’t want your tape to be filmed off-tilt, and therefore distract from your performance.
For Scenes & Self Tapes
6. Material - Variation is key. You have 10 videos to showcase the very best of your acting ability. These can be as simple as recording a monologue in your bedroom, or any of your previous work including TV, Film, Commercials and Short Film jobs - it really doesn’t matter so long as they’re clear videos of you performing.
Push your boundaries so that you include a range from comedy through to drama.
Remember, the joy of Flairbox is that you can finally perform as much as you like, whilst showcasing the spectrum of your acting work and ability. You can always upload new videos to replace your old ones, so you should be constantly trying to improve and update your scenes.
THINGS TO AVOID
Flairbox is a creative community for actors first and foremost, but it’s also professional community to help the best actors to get work so unfortunately there has to be a few rules;
Scenes containing graphic violence are not allowed.
Graphic scenes of a sexual nature are not allowed.
You are also responsible for making sure that you have the copyright to upload the scene that you have recorded. We reserve the right to remove any video from the platform.
Other than that, we cannot wait to help as many talented actors as possible to get the opportunities that they deserve. As always, if you have any questions or anything that you’re unsure about, we’re always available on email - firstname.lastname@example.org - Webchat, or on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram Pages. #LetTalentTalk #SelfTape #Scenes
Elliot & Rob.